Cornelia Foster Bradford (1847-1935) established Whittier House, a Jersey City social establishment in 1894. Whittier House provided a variety of services to improve the lives of immigrants and the poor, including the city’s first free Kindergarten program for local residents. The idea was so popular that the city eventually took over the program. Whittier House also spearheaded the development of playgrounds for the children of the city.
In 1900, Bradford aided Juliet Clannon Cushing in the founding of the Consumers’ League of New Jersey which helped to achieve New Jersey’s child labor laws and the Child Protective League. Whittier House had almost twenty years of experience in social settlement work and urban reform when its 19th Annual Report was written in 1913. A wide variety of clubs, activities, and initiatives are noted in the report. Whittier House’s Headworker at this time was still Cornelia Bradford, the settlement’s founder. She remained in this position until 1926.